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Posted by dustinmattison1974 Aug 29, 2017

I interviewed Piyush Kumar who discussed S&OP.







Nice speaking to you today, Piyush. And looking forward to hearing your views on the topic of S&OP. Can you please provide a brief background of yourself?

Hi.. I am Piyush Kumar – CEO of INDUS B2B Solutions (A Unit of INDUS Group) a leading ISO 9001: 2008 certified India based company offering integrated global logistics solutions worldwide with multimodal & tailor made customised solutions. To know more about INDUS Group please log on to www.ib2bsolutions. in


What is your experience with S&OP?

My experience with S&OP is very good our company has grown the S&OP execution. Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is an business management process that determines the optimum level of manufacturing output. The process is built upon stakeholder agreement and an approved consensus plan. To help stakeholders agree on a plan of action based on real-time data, S&OP software products include dashboards that display data related to equipment, labor, facilities, material and finance. The purpose of the dashboards is to provide the stakeholders with a single, shared view of the data. To know more please visit our website


How is it done effectively?


Our business goals of S&OP:

  • Determining the balance between supply and demand.
  • Avoiding wasteful production.
  • Improving top line revenues.
  • Optimizing resources for production.


Where have you seen good results?


For many in supply chain management, new technological tools are transforming daily business processes. As the supply chain becomes increasingly Lean in its operations, managers are constantly looking for ways to improve service, reduce costs, and increase return on their investments. Effective supply chains are defined by the efficiency of their processes, as well as their flexibility and reliability, and new technologies are proving valuable in achieving these goals.Technology really impacted the supply chain with the personal computer and the internet. He went on to say that computers led to software solutions which led to enterprise solutions that strove (sometimes unsuccessfully…even today) to integrate the various business systems. An increase in collaboration that has been enabled by technology. Those that were used green screen systems hooked into large mainframe computers. The screens allowed interaction with a single part at one time. Planners learned to be proficient by remembering obscure screen names (actually…reminds me of using SAP today…maybe some things don’t change much) and by muscle training the number of tabs to get down to the quantity field.



About Piyush Kumar






Piyush Kumar


Freight & Logistics Professional (SCM Solutions)


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Darya Koroleva who discussed Unique Points Concerning Russian Supply Chain.







It's good to speak with you today, Darya. Looking forward to hearing your views on the unique aspects of Russian supply chain. Before we start, can you provide a brief background of yourself?


Hello. My name is Darya. I'm a logistics specialist in an international company. We import some medical devices from all over the world, such as analyzers and spare parts and consumables for them. I have more than 10 years of experience in supply chain, and I hope I will be able to tell you something interesting about supply chain in Russia.


Thank you. Can you first talk about what are some of the main risks involved?


Actually, we have a lot of risks, which should be analyzed during preparation process for every shipment. But I would like to tell you only about two main groups. And the first one is geographic risks and the second one is legal risks.


As for geographic risks, this group can be subdivided into two parts. Some are import prohibitions or sanctions, which we can have for particular countries. For example, maybe you know that Russia can't import some spare parts from China. This import is limited. And we can't import now some vegetables and food from Turkey and Europe.


As for the second subgroup, it is geographic instability. I mean some military conflicts, which we can have outside Russia. In this case, the recent military conflict in Ukraine can serve as a good example. The situation made us...rework the whole supply chain, the whole route, which we use for our goods from Turkey to Russia, from Istanbul to Moscow. Before, we used tracks, and these tracks went through Ukraine. But during this conflict, it became impossible. And to avoid any problems, our forwarder opened a new office in Novorossiysk. And we started to use sea containers from Istanbul to Novorossiysk. And then we started to use tracks from Novorossiysk to Moscow. This change has allowed us not only to avoid any problems in the Ukraine, inside Ukraine, but also to save some money and some time.


As for the second group of risks, legal risks, I would like to emphasize some intellectual property problems, which you can have if you would like to import branded goods. If brand is registered in Russia, so you can't do it if you don't have a special document from the brand owner which allows you to do it. If you don't have it, your goods will be stopped, definitely will be stopped at customs, and your company will be punished.


This group can also be subdivided into two parts — intellectual property problems and also rapidly changing rules. A logistic specialist in Russia knows that our customs can change any rule without any preliminary notice. So we should monitor online resources every day and every hour in order to know about all possible changes, which we should analyze for our future shipment, for our tomorrow shipment, for example.


So I have named only two groups of risks, but even now, you can imagine how difficult is supply chain in Russia.


So how complex is the process of customs clearance? Is there more you could say about that?


Yes. Knowing about all the risks, I can say that customs clearance in Russia is a very complex process.


Firstly, we have a long list of characteristics, which should be provided during customs clearance. This list includes, for example, not only the country of origin but also the producer. My suppliers, for example, are always surprised when I ask them to provide me with information about the exact producer of each item because without this information, you cannot fill in the declaration, so your import is not possible.


Also price is very important, your contract price, I mean, because price is supervised by Russian customs also. Every logistic specialist should be ready to present all proving documents to prove your price. It can be a very long list of documents. You should remember about all of these aspects. Then you plan your shipments.


Can you talk about collaboration between partners? Is this important for getting good results?


Yes. I think collaboration between the stakeholders — I mean, suppliers, forwarders, and customers —here in Russia is extremely important because we should act together from the very beginning to the end of the whole process. For example, all our stakeholders should be informed in advance about all the necessary documents which can be needed, as I said before. This can be certificate of origin, some technical descriptions, chemical composition, price lists, export declaration. And if you do not have even one of these docs, your goods can be stopped. I think that this should be indicated in your contract because, only in this case, you're likely not to have such problems, and your supplier will be prepared, that his or her company should provide all these documents. So I think that collaboration is very important if you want to achieve the best result.


Well thank you for sharing today on Russian supply chain and all the issues involved.


Thank you.



About Darya Koroleva





Darya Koroleva


Logistics Manager, Import \ Export, Customs clearance, Supply Chain, Business Analyst, Purchasing, Wholesales


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Alan Day who discussed The New landscape for Supplier Collaboration.







Can you provide a brief background of yourself.


Yes. Hi, Dustin.I'm Alan Day. I'm chairman of State of Flux, which is a global procurement organization. I founded the company nearly 14 years ago, and we focus on supplier relationship management, supply collaboration. We've got offices in London, Switzerland, Chicago, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, and a development team in Athens.


What's happening in this space regarding supplier collaboration?


We've been conducting research in this space for nine years now, and what we're seeing is, recently, a change in the marketplace where you've got organizations being hit with a rush to digitize. You've got changing of roles. So the CIO no longer has a massive team underneath him. They're becoming kind of super supply managers. Same with people like HR directors or even finance directors where their teams are becoming no longer, and really, they're outsourcing to key suppliers.


You've also got, from a procurement perspective, a difference in value. So in the past, value was around price, whereas now, we've got value equals price, but it also equals risk, litigation, innovation, and access to innovation. It equals faster speed to market. So you've got a whole definition change around values.


So all of these things, as well as a political uncertainty where organizations kind of feel the pressure to collaborate themselves rather than have a government do it for them is putting pressure, I suppose, on creating good, solid supplier relationship management. So we're seeing a huge step change towards people getting it and moving from traditional, thump-the-table type supplier relationships to collaboration, partnering.


And your suppliers are changing. They're no longer a supplier. They're a partner. They're a competitor. They're a customer. So all of that fits to create quite a bit of momentum around supplier management.


Can you talk about how it can be done effectively?


What we've seen, and we've seen through the research, we've got now over a million data points on what makes good SRM. So we've seen that organizations need to do a few building blocks in place. Without good contract management and good performance management, it's hard to get your foundations right. We talk about the six pillars of SRM, the first one being value. So what is that definition of value, and can you articulate it? Can you sell it to both your organization but also to your suppliers?


Second one being stakeholders. Can you get them on board? We know there's a direct correlation between being good at SRM and getting executive level support, specifically chief executive support. So if you can get that support, certainly SRM leaders get far more support than followers.


The third pillar is around processing governance. Everyone tends to rush to that and write a supply management process without doing the first few pillars. So the first thing we look for around processing governance is - have they done segmentation correctly. Have they defined what the treatment strategies are for those segments?And then develop the processes to fit those treatment strategies for each of the segments of suppliers and then creating governance models that fit that.


That leads nicely into the fourth pillar, which is around people and skills. Once you've developed a governance model, you'll look at roles and responsibilities within that governance model — competencies and competency assessment. We, again, know that there's a direct correlation between being good at SRM and training your people, that the SRM leaders send more time and money and resources in developing their people and focusing on those humanistic skills, and we have data behind what skills they tend to focus on.


The fourth one is around technology, so how you industrialize these programs. We know that 79% of key relationships are currently managed on a spreadsheet. I'll repeat that again. An organization's key relationships, nearly 80% of them, are managed on an Excel spreadsheet, which has got to be risky. So to industrialize these things, we're seeing the emergence of supplier relationship technology. And we think that the industry is probably where CRM was about 10 years ago. So we're now starting to see the SRM technology coming through relatively quickly, and that helps industrialize the program.


And then for final pillar is around collaboration. And you could argue this is a bit of output. This is where we want to see things like joint account plans and value release plans coming from those key supplier relationships.


So those are the six pillar in a very quick snapshot. The books that we produced from the research each year are normally organized in those six pillars to help organizations put in place their supplier relationship programs and see what they need to do.


Do you have any examples of success stories?


Yeah, we do. We've had over 1500 organizations participate in the research, and our client base that we work with is about a tenth of those, so about 150 organizations and growing almost daily in terms of organizations we work with to develop their programs. We're seeing a lot of really great organizations in the FMCG space. We've got some really good case studies with people like Mars and Kimberly-Clark, who have done some fantastic work on their SRM programs.


I'm a fan of some of the things that Harley-Davidson have done on their program, especially their supplier board that helps them look at new innovation. So it's almost a formal board position that suppliers apply for. And I think that's really innovative and pretty cool, actually.


But equally, we're seeing people in the UK, like Royal Mail, have a very solid program, and their use of technology is excellent on how it underpins their supplier management program. So there's some great examples, not always from the industries you expect. And interestingly, the car companies, where everyone used to think was good at supplier management, tends to be good in the production side but not so good at the non-production or goods not for resale area. And it is more focused on supplier performance rather than supplier relationships management. So it tends to measure supplier performance to the nth degree but is less collaborative than, say, some of the emerging industries that we see around FMCG or high tech.


But each year we have case studies in our books, and those are also on our website. So you can read about Mars, for example, on our website. There's an interesting one from Allied Irish Bank who are doing some good stuff around innovation. Telstra, the Australian telecoms company, has done some really good stuff around how they're using their suppliers to help their sales team. So there's some great examples, and please check them out on our website.


Thanks. And do you have any final recommendations?


I think firstly, having a great sales pitch on what SRM is. People confuse it, and I made the comment about supplier performance versus supplier relationship management. I've written an article about that one a few years, and it still seems to was a fairly popular one. But actually, being very careful around what is SRM and communicating that to your key stakeholders so that they understand it, I think that's something to watch out for.


The other one is around industrializing the program. I think everyone can point to one or two good relationships that they have with suppliers. But if you stand back and say, what is the supplier experience when they're dealing with us as an organization? Is it consistent? So if they come talk to us in Chicago versus China, will that supplier get a consistent experience?And I think the whole point of industrializing these programs is to drive that consistent supplier experience so that you can reduce risk or harness innovation, and so on. So those are kind of my key tips. I'm happy to talk to anyone on in more detail if that helps.


Where can the audience find more about your research and contact you?


Our website is Just as it's spelled, all one word. State of flux.And it's dot co dot UK. They can download the research reports. They can participate. Anyone who does the research gets a free benchmark to show where they are versus the SRM leaders. That's our way of saying thank you for participating in the research. As I said, we've got nine years of data there, which I believe is unparalleled in this field. So there's a lot of insight that we can give them. Please have a look at the website, or they can reach out to me directly by LinkedIn or via our website as well.


Thanks for sharing today, Alan.


Pleasure, Dustin. Thanks for your time.




About Alan Day






Alan Day


Chairman, State of Flux Limited


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Noel Courtney who discussed Capacity and Utilization.







It's good to speak to you today Noel. The topic for today is capacity and utilization. Can you first provide a brief background of yourself.


Well, most of my career has been spent in logistics. I was in customers within the distribution and logistics arena, customers ranging from fast-moving distributed goods, bulky goods, food, [inaudible 00:00:31] goods, electrical components, lighting, and everything in between. Obviously, in the last five, six years and moving forward, the logistics is moving down towards e-parcel, e-logistics, if you like. From my experience, particularly along capacity, as a 3PL capacity is assigned to particular customers, based on forecast provided by the customer, and that forecasting is traditionally either 20% over or 20% under, forcing the 3PL to act rather aggressively to try to service their customer, through no fault of their own.


With your experience in the 3PL space, can you talk about some of the problems that you've seen with forecasting?


Yeah, sure. I guess one of the clinches for a 3PL I see is the forecasting might revolve around a certain volume, and then that volume is certainly over and above the expectations above the 3PL, which then is setting 3PL up to fail, fail to service the customer. Depending on the size of the truck that the 3PL have assigned to their particular customer, the 3PL is then required to incur significant costs at an operating level to service their customer to within agreed parameters, if you like.


And on the flip side, as I alluded earlier, on the flip side, the forecasting could be way under. So again, a 3PL could incur significant costs by over supplying of fleet, which then is underutilized, sitting around, costing money, doing nothing because the volume of work is not necessarily there. And the 3PLs pick up as costs as well. So two of the things I see with forecasting.


And the third I see, I guess, is some customers tend to not provide forecasts at all, or are not able to provide forecasts. So again, as a 3PL, the 3PLs need to guess what their volume might look like and supply the required fleet based on educated guesses, if you like. Costly, yes.


How do you recommend that these problems be effectively addressed?


From an outsider looking in, the bulk of the challenges I see reside within the customer or within the organizations and its internal communications within those organizations. Some organizations have systems that might not be the best systems in the world, but from my perspective, I don't see the systems being the issue. It's the communications within the organization as such. And I guess, to give you an example, one of our larger customers for a 3PL that I used to work for had a promotion on, a national promotion. And the 3PL that I worked for, we were advised of that promotion some two and a half weeks out from when the catalog for that promotion was going to drop. Now, the contact that was advising us of that promotion had only just been advised themselves, and unfortunately for the customer, their inventory was centralized in one state, and the catalog promotion was country-wide. So it forced the business, their business, and the 3PL to react in a rather aggressive way, trying to get this inventory to where it needed to be to meet the promotion. And that came down to, not necessarily forecasting within the customer's business but the communications within the business itself, as opposed to what are the marketing team doing? What are the sales team doing? Are they feeding it into their own sales and operating, planning team? Or have they communicated very well.


And I've seen it numerous times where that's not necessarily the case. So internal with the customer.


Thanks. And do you have any final recommendations?


Final recommendations -- from a 3PL perspective, I would recommend that as a 3Pl can continuously ask questions about the volume, continuously challenge the customer regarding the volume, obviously in a polite manner and not too aggressively, until businesses get their internal communications addressed, in my view, I don't believe that that particular issue that I've just raised will be resolved adequately. And so 3PL would just need to keep asking the question.


Thanks for sharing today.


Thank you.



About Noel Courtney






Noel Courtney


Senior Logistics Professional/General Management/Leadership


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Inigo Sanchez Orozco who discussed Benefits of Lean Implementation.







Can you provide a brief background of yourself?


First of all, thank you as well for your time. My name is Inigo Sanchez. I am Spanish. I am 34 years old. I am working in the United Kingdom for the last two years, and I have worked in Spain in different companies. All my jobs are related to Lean, reduced cost, implementation of Kanban, Kaizen events. So I have a Master degree, as supply chain manager. I have, as well, an honor degree Lean, logistics and reduced cost projects. And right now, I am a supply chain manager in a company called Holophane in UK, United Kingdom. We have another factory in Spain, in Barcelona, and we are for a group called Acuity Brands from the United States. We produce street light fittings for the roads, tunnels, train stations, with electronic / led components. This is what I am doing right now, supply chain manager in a company called Holophane in the United Kingdom.


Thank you. So can you talk about what are the benefits of Lean implementation?


Well, first of all, if you take account that Lean is, from my point of view, the best method to produce and to reduce all the waste in the production and supply chain flow. It is the method that  Ford and Toyota companies used in the past. The benefits of implement Lean is just to have a good process, to have a good value stream map of all the supply chain.  With it you can just see all the benefits to reduce all the costs in all the supply chain flow. You can implement Lean. You can reduce all the costs in all the flows. You can improve shipping time to customers. You can reduce all the lead time for production all the products.


So my point of view, Lean is the best method to have a good company. The benefits of Lean is related to the benefits to have more customers, to have more benefits in the companies.


How is it done effectively?


Well, first of all, to implement good Lean techniques and to reduce all the costs and reduce all the wastes in the supply chain flow, you have to have a clear picture where you are.  You have to make a value stream map of the process, How do you make the things? What are the gaps in the process?And then you have to make another value stream map where you can see where you can be in one year, two years, and just work to obtain these results.


How is the best method? You have to make this value stream map, make Kaizen events with all the departments, all the people involved in the process that you see that are the most valuable person to solve the issues. You call all the departments in this Kaizen event.


You have to have key users for each department. Explain we're on this process. We want just to improve and implement these Lean techniques to have these benefits on this . And just keeping all the team and other people of the company aware that they have to attend these Kaizen events. They have to track the jobs that we've done, and just track all the things that we have improved and explain people that this is the actual situation, what we have done, what are the improvements that we have achieved with this implementation.


Can you share with us where you've seen some good results?


Well, when I joined this company two years ago, we had a lot of stock levels. So we began to make a Kaizen event to implement Kanban system in both factories in Spain and in UK . So we have reviews with this Kanban implementation of the production floor and with the vendors and we have reduce  from 5 million pounds to 3 million pounds right now. So you can see the benefits of this Kanban implementation. We have reduced lead times from the vendors from 20 days to five days. We have just implemented just-in-time methods as well. All stock levels from raw materials, finished good , has been reduced . With this , we can , as well, offer our customers five days lead time. We have reduced lead-time , when I joined this company, the lead time to ship to customers, production lead time, was five weeks, and we have reduced these five weeks to five days. So we can offer to the customer the products in less time and with the same quality and with less cost.


We have as well implemented some productivity improvements in our production floor . We have right now 12 cells in UK and 10 cells of production in Barcelona. We have made these Kaizen events to see where are the problems in production .We have reduced the production time, more or less, in a half. We have a good example  for that . In the past, it lasted one hour to produce one product in the cell. And with this Kaizen event, with the people, with operators and everybody that have joined this Kaizen event, we obtained to reduce this one-hour production to 20 minutes. So we have reduced for all the most value products, all the production times.


As well, we have improved the shipping on time to the customers, when I joined this company, from 85% to 95 right now. This Lean implementation, this value stream map, with the departments to explain to all the departments how is the process, has allowed us to improve it . Every department knows if we have an issue where to ask or to whom to ask to solve the problem. So we have achieved a way to improve all the shipping on time to the customer with this Lean implementation.


About Inigo Sanchez Orozco






Inigo Sanchez Orozco


Logistics Coordinator


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Gerald Ford who discussed Supply Chain Risk Management.







Can you provide a brief background of yourself?


I'm a supply chain professional. Been doing this since 1981, and I've worked for over 90 different organizations in various capacities, both in the private and public sector, and right now, I'm concentrating more on risk and performance management as it relates to organizations dealing with their suppliers.


Regarding this aspect of supply chain risk management, can you explain why you think this is an important area to cover?


Well, I think the biggest thing that I've noticed is that, with all the changing going on with supply chain, we have a whole bunch of new people that are getting into the profession. And some of the ones that have been around have retired, and organizations aren't training. So they're trying to turn around and do much more with fewer resources. Most supply chain organizations or people are turning around and giving the responsibility of checking things to the end user departments, and they're very busy. So therefore, things fall through the cracks as far as...and two main areas that I think need to be addressed is performance management, and the other one is the risk as it relates to insurance and documentation and work references and those kinds of pieces of information.


How can it be done effectively?


Well, Dustin, this is what I did. I asked the same question myself and started to do a review on what are the tools that are being used. And I actually got involved with another organization that does management consulting. And we had conversations with the ministry of government services for the province of Ontario, and they're huge. And what we wanted to know is — and we actually did a survey, and it went out to hundreds and hundreds of organizations. And we said, "So what do you use and how do you do it, and why do you do it, and do you have any tools?"


And what we quickly discovered was that most of them don't do it. A lot of them should do it but don't get around to it, and those who have done it basically are trying to use things like Microsoft Excel and Word. And they're sending it out to people to be done after the fact. And the only time they actually do any kind of performance management is when they have a problem.


In reality, performance management is working with the supplier to make them better at what they do. The best example that I've seen is done by 3M out of London, and they've done an excellent job of creating a system that allows their end users to be able to do an assessment very quickly and to score them very quickly and then allow a comparison.


So one of the things that I've done, as far as my company is concerned, is develop a similar tool for an organization to be able to use because, after all, if you don't have a review, you cannot compare. And if you do not measure, you cannot make them better. You also have a harder time getting rid of the poor performers because you're actually not measuring it. So automation is the key.


Do you have other success examples that you could share?


I think mostly the ones that I've seen are actually out of the United States. The best one is actually the State of Florida. Florida has an absolutely wonderful tool that they've used down there and all the agencies go through. I need that most of the time, when it comes to performance management, the public sector is a little bit ahead of the private sector. The other on that I've seen was the State of Texas, and again, it's for the same purposes. In Canada, I have not — except for 3M —that's the only ones I've seen. Periodically, I do come across some in the oil and gas industry. And they are... There's a number of organizations as part of their ERP system, are supposed to be able to have performance management. But it's usually one of those modules that either is not turned on or not used or people didn't even buy it because of the expense associated with doing that. So unfortunately, there's not as many concrete examples as there should be.


My thought a while ago was, because of the things like the Broader Public Sector Act and a bunch of other initiatives, I thought people would be clamoring to turn around and have a tool that they could use to be able to manage the vendors better, but for some reason, they're more than willing to accept the risk of continuing to deal with who they've dealt with and fix the problems as they occur, which, to me, doesn't make any sense. But that's, unfortunately, the reality.


Do you have any final recommendations?


I think more organizations need to be aware of what happens if you actually do have poor performance. And there's a study that was done by one of the professors up at [00:05:50], and what he did is he started tracking when organizations have any kind of supply chain disruption and what kind of impact it would have on their stock prices. Not a lot of people actually take a look at that to see what the impact is. I think that more education is actually needed. It would be nice to be able to see a little bit more delivered when it came to the courses that are being offered at the colleges and universities as it relates to supply chain. There's just very little done on it, and I think it's one of those things that is going to come around and burn people a lot more than it should. Because it's one of those things that people are saying, "I can accept the risk," but they really don't understand the level of risk they're actually taking.



About Gerald Ford






Gerald Ford


Supply Chain Project Manager


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Dr. Muddassir Ahmed who discussed Developing Competencies in Supply Chain.







Hi, Dustin, and thank you for the opportunity in having this talk on supply chain. An absolute pleasure.So my name is Dr. Muddassir Ahmed. I'm originally from Pakistan. I did my engineering back home in Pakistanback home, and then I left to Sweden to do my Master's in production and supply chain. So this is where I developed an interest in the profession. I worked for Volvo Cars, and I came to UK and worked for a company called Eaton in various positions in supply chain and manufacturing from a demand planner to a buyer to supply chain manager. So while I was working towards my job, full-time job, I did have a scholarship from Lancaster ManagementSchool. So I choose to go for a part-time study and fully funded my own company, and I did a Ph.D. in management science, and most of the topic was around supply development. And we looked quite in details about supply chain competencies.


So hence my career is predominantly around supply chain and logistics and manufacturing. That topic I'm very passionate about, and hopefully, I would like to contribute more to the profession. As a result, because I'm a lazy person to write research papers, it is a very rigorous process. I still want to share the knowledge with the community. Therefore, I started writing about 18 to two years ago, a blog. My blog is Muddassirism, where I write about topics of supply chain, supply chain strategy, procurement, logistics, supply chain education, supply development. I talk about tools, and I talk about processes. So my aim of my blog is to basically make it a go-to resource for any supply chain professional if they want to learn about processes; they want to learn about systems; they want to learn about execution models; and they want to learn about any tools, ABC analysis and so on, so forth. Most importantly, they want to develop themselves. So I want to make sure that all the tools and process knowledge is available for them so they can improve their knowledge and improve their businesses as a result.


Thanks. Can you talk about the concept of tool-based knowledge and learning?


Good question.I've gone through a lot of education myself and also a lot of learning and development in my career. And what I have noticed is either — and I think this is where the whole knowledge and learning has been designed, that you go to the college. You go to the university. You're early in your life, and you don't know what you want to do. But somebody says, "Go and do supply chain," and you just go and do supply chain in college and spend about $20,000, $30,000, and then you wish, hopefully, you'll get a job. But that's fine. But most of the people don't have this luxury to do so. And they started a job, and they somehow end up in the supply chain career, and they just don't have the capacity or the opportunity to get themselves towards a formal education.


So this is what I think. Over the years, I realized that a lot of people do learn a lot of competencies, supply chain, through a job. For example, if you take a planner, that person knows a lot about APICS and CIPS. That person knows about capacity and all that. And that's what they know. But if you challenge them, and they want to develop themselves, they don't exactly know what are the competencies they ought to build in and what they ought to learn. So the option is for them to go and do a certification of [inaudible 00:04:16] and SIPS. And that's cool. If they want to do it, let's do that. But again, that's a long, tedious task. And managing a full-time and a family and a certification takes a lot out of you.


So the concept I'm trying to bring in, if introduced, what I've learned in my career, what I've done is I'm trying to deduce...I'll call it supply chain competency self-assessment models. So it could be procurement. It could be logistics. It could be S&OP for demand planners. It could be inventory management for [inaudible 00:04:48] managers. So if you take supply chain in general, then you have a competencies like demand planning, supply scheduling, production planning, master scheduling, shelf-floor execution, inventory management, so on and so forth.


So out of all those topics, some people are good at it. Maybe a planner is good at MRP, demand management, capacity management, and inventory management, but maybe not in sourcing or supply scheduling. So that will become a competency gap. And then what that person would do, do a self-assessment, score himself by himself, or maybe even the managers, and then go and put that into his development plan for next year or whatever time frame it is, and then work towards either go and do an online course or buy a book or maybe a certification to close that gap.And therefore, they can become a more rounded supply chain person. So rather than pushing the knowledge towards the person, I call it more a pull-based learning and development model. So the person is pulling the tools and the knowledge content that he or she needs to development themselves, if that makes sense.


Can you talk a little bit about why this is important?


I think it's absolutely important for the supply chain professional regardless of what career stage they are. If they're in the early part of their career, if they are a few years down the line as a mid-manager or the senior managers, supply chain, like many other professions, is changing. New technologies coming in, the tools are coming in, the enrollment is getting more competitive. So if the business needs to improve, then the people who work in those businesses needs to improve. And the only way to improve is to learn yourself and stretch yourself and develop yourself. It doesn't mean you probably won't stress yourself and & develop yourself. What it means is you have a gradual learning curve, which improves your job performance. So you can probably do more with less time or do it more efficiently. And therefore, it helps you, what you're doing. It helps business. And that's and that's about it. I think if you think about any great CEOs and the senior managers, all they say is people are one of their assets. I mean, it sounds like a cliché, but that's true because those people who also learn and develop and wants to grow the business, improve themselves. They are the really differentiators between successful teams and businesses and also successful teams.


Can you talk about how this is put into practice or done effectively?


Yes, yes. Absolutely. Let me... I think I want to give this fine example, and that would actually show you how it's done effectively. Five years ago, in fact, there was a guy, when I want to learn supply chain manager hired, and he was a certain he was temporary worker. The brief was we should let him,“He's no good. I think you should let him go.”


But when I sat down with him, I saw that person got something in him. The issue is he's just not getting his direction and the development opportunities. So what I did was I gave him clear, SMART goals, as they say, specific measurable achievable realistic time scale. And I said to achieve that goal, so what's your competency gap, and we identified his competency gap. I said, okay, you probably need to go and learn towards more capacity management and learn to [inaudible 00:08:35] more and more towards more demand planning and Master scheduling and demand planning. And if you close those gaps, then you can, actually six months’ time, you can improve your key metrics. For example, as a for example as a planner, his metrics improved on time, greatly reduce lead-time, and reduce his inventory. Basic goals, which every planner should have.


So put him through the online courses. He did his courses. We have every one-to-one sessions. And gradually, you can see it. He was increasing his knowledge and competencies and applying his knowledge to a real-life business situation. And every month, he was improving his results.


So once we worked on his technical competencies, okay, you're showing a lot of potential here. Then we tried to develop his more leadership and managerial competencies. So we put him into more like a front, again, did his self-assessment. It [inaudible 00:09:29] develop plan, and put him into a leadership program. As a consequence, that person, after four years, replaced me as a manager of the team. He's managing a full team of 50 people right now. So it's a very, I think, good success story for a gentleman who was a temporary worker, young guy, four years ago. Now he's managing people, and he's got a degree and qualification under his belt, and a lot of leadership skills along with technical knowledge. So that said, that's the only way I can show you how practically it can be done.


Thanks for sharing today.


Thank you, Dustin. And thank you for the opportunity for talking to you. I look forward our discussion even more. Thank you.




About Dr. Muddassir Ahmed






Dr. Muddassir Ahmed, Ph.D


Logistics Director - DPC-D at Doncasters Group Limited


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Terry Walmsley who discussed The Next Generation of Supply Chain.







Can you provide us with a brief background of yourself?


Obviously, I'm Australian. You'll pick by the accent. But I've spent most of my working career in supply chain and logistics. I have a background in defense. I spent 20 years in defense and supply chain, Ordinance Corps in the Australian Army, which time I looked after all fleet aspects and supply chain matters in defense. Outside of defense, I've worked with operations in manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and 3PL.


So I've got a bit of background for supply chain. I've handled all aspects — warehousing, inventory management, procurement, warehouse design, continuous improvement, and the list goes on. It lends me to start thinking about what possible changes and improvements are there, and I suppose that's leading into today's discussion and topic.


Can you first define what is the next generation supply chain?


Since the dawn of time, I suppose you'd look at it, the accounting method that, I would say, 99% of businesses operate under is base unit, a methodology that provides the easy accountable process of one in, one out. And it also provides transparency and accountability of process. My methodology of next gen supply chain turns that process on its head by going weight based as opposed to unit based.


Why is this important?


Why? Cost savings and progression toward a fully automated supply chain functionality.


Can you talk about how this is put into practice?


Design is a weigh pad or weigh platform, which will be designed around storage mediums and warehousing. So what that particular weigh pad will allow for is product to sit on it. A weight will be transferred by to the MRP where it will be converted to a base unit and measured quantity for the system to know what's exactly there.


The benefits to this is it's going to a live volume record, which will mean there won't be a need for stock take. That's probably the primary, but the additional components, it will be added to the weigh platform. It will allow for heat mapping of the item within warehouse structure. It will also allow for security aspects. So if there is a variation to weight that isn't authorized, then that can connect to a camera surveillance system that will automatically engage with any inappropriate activities.


So there's a string of benefits. It will also provide accountability error corrections, as in, if somebody goes to put something in a wrong location, if it's not recorded as correct weight, the system will pick up that it's not the right item in the right location. So many benefits to going to that form of accountability.


The backend issues is the exciting part though in that the system will have probably what would be the missing link in any supply equation that would deal with the supplies of material. So where you have an accurate account balance, then if you know what your consumption data is and the lead time and manufacturing and logistics, then this will provide the information needed to go to a fully automated system, allowing for those external parameters to be input into a supplier equation.



Can you talk a little bit about how you've seen some of this...some success stories or some examples of this being done?


I have heard of a company in New Zealand that has a medical cabinet where it has medical components on it, and as an item is removed and a [inaudible 00:05:02] falls below the minimum quantity, it will automatically reorder. This would be that on a similar scale but on a much grander platform with a lot more — what would you say?—automative functions added to it.


Did we cover everything you wanted to discuss on this topic?


On this topic, yeah.There are many topics that I'm looking at. To give you a heads up, I'm also an industrial engineer, so at present, I'm in the researching via virtual reality headset for measurement processes, as in industrial engineering and recording takt time. So that one will be fairly exciting.And obviously, KPI developments in the form of a new tool to be released or has recently been released. But it's probably waking the world up to KPIs and their true value as a natural progression from things like [inaudible 00:06:17] LEAN, Lean Six Sigma. KPIs are the next progress. It's step in business development. So they're all exciting projects that I'm working on.


I look forward to interviewing you again to cover these topics.


Okay, Dustin.


Thanks a lot. Thank you.


Have a nice day.




About Terry Walmsley





Terry Walmsley


Supply Chain, Logistics, Operations & Manufacturing Management Professional owner 1Plus One


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Victor Coetzee who discussed Logistics and Supply Chain Management for Dealing with Remote Sites.







Well, it's nice speaking to you today, Victor. This is going to be a great topic on logistics and supply chain management for dealing with remote sites. So, Victor, can you first provide a background about yourself and share some of your experience?


Good morning, Dustin. Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my experiences on construction projects and oil and gas projects during my past 10 years working in different regions and areas and countries, especially in regards to the situation to identify remote sites. And how to operate logistics and supply is vastly different compared to a normal working environment. And I appreciate the opportunity to share this.


What are some of the characteristics and differences between the industries?


The first thing that I would like to mention here, some of the characteristics or differences between the industries as far as similarities are concerned is that all projects are measured in form of cost as well as time. All projects are measured in terms of two aspects – namely, their ability to remain in budget and delivering in time the [inaudible 00:01:17] requirements.


But operational [inaudible 00:01:21] are linked to a project schedule or to a construction schedule, and they are subtle differences in variances between the different industries in terms of the reliance or importance of safety, the involvement of government, as well as the extreme global nature of some of the industries and the regions and areas that the projects are working in.


Processes and work culture also differ from industry as well as from organizations.


What are some of the unique challenges that face a logistics and supply chain executive?


Dustin, some of the unique challenges that face a logistics and supply executive, especially working on a project, is to understand that it might be a technology, material requirement planning are linked to the project schedule or construction schedule. To do thing right the first time and do things cost effective and quickly is critical and very important.


From a supply and logistics executive position, you must not only know all the functions and processes in your specific department, but you must have a realistic view in regards to project operational processes and how to form synergy and flow between construction teams, [inaudible 00:02:52], quality, cost control, engineering, operations, health and safety, etc.


You must be able to measure the success and the implementation against [inaudible 00:03:07] class supply chain practices, namely [inaudible 00:03:11] use of the data and information flow. Inventory optimization flexibility is very, very important and critical to adapt to [inaudible 00:03:21] changes, especially on projects.


Performance and auto processing, as well as customization of ERP technology and system implementation and processes are also very, very important factors because working on remote sites in some regions and countries, you are always prone to disruptions in terms of your support structures, what you have available to work with. And you must be able to adapt to those environments and adapt your processes and your procedures and your technologies to be able to fulfill the function. Sustaining your operations and compliance and visibility are also two important factors.


From a logistics and supply perspective, emotional intelligence, being able to manage your own emotions as well as those of others and understanding conflict and how to handle conflict are very two critical components for logistics in a supply executive on a project.


Can you tell us what is a critical component that can affect the success or failure of a logistics and supply chain team?


Dustin, I think the critical components that can affect success or failure of a logistics executive are closely linked to the fact that they need to get involved from the start,in the process from the start, meaning the planning and development and evaluation before actual mobilization. Understanding three key components is understanding the companies operational strategy and objective that the company want to achieve for this specific project in terms of policies, SOP design, and guidelines, is critical.


The second factor that is very important is evaluating the risk in a country of the operations in terms of laws, regulations, permits, government approvals. And obviously, restrictions in terms of policies and hiding practices that can affect your operations on the site. [inaudible 00:05:53] a company support infrastructure in countries as far as freight agents and supplier capability of concerned are also critical. And obviously, evaluating the processes in terms of reverse logistics processes and investment recovery are also very important. That [inaudible 00:06:15] comes into effect, especially during reconciliation and closure of projects.


Victor, can you give us some indication of warning signs that can lead to project failure?


Dustin, I think from my perspective, in relation to give you some indication on warning signs of things that can lead to project failure is the lack of knowledge and skill and using a proven approach to project management and risk management. Gaps in organizational policies or inadequately enforcement of these policies and procedures and underestimating the project scope of work and acquirements.


Now, high staff turnover are also warning signs, but it can be linked to various outside factors that are out of control of the organization in terms of their policies, procedures.And it can be a situation where it is highly tied to government or outside sources in terms of if you have not only one organization, but you're in a joint venture, you not only consider only one organization, but you have three different organizations to consider, and that is, when I was in Iraq, you have to consider the client [inaudible 00:07:48], oil company and then obviously also the two parties — like the company that I work for, [inaudible 00:07:59] — that formed the joint venture.So there's many factors that can influence or can lead to project failures and, I think, project work organizations, work culture, also play a very high factor in success or failure.


My last question is, Is there a shift in business leaders' perspectives that is required regarding project implementation?


Dustin, I think from looking at the way business leaders and executives look at projects these days, I think the main focus would be regards to looking at financials. Financials and cost holding are critical components. Obviously, also sustainability. The main focus here is to understand that if you work on a project, a project's success is interlinked with all the various departments that make up a project team.


So understanding that you have to be flexible in your implementation of processes and procedures and systems and to form synergy is a key component. If the project fails because of various outside factors or success, then it's a combined team success or team failure.


Coming back to the main concerns on business leaders, looking at what is currently happening, is that there is definitely a shift to be more concerned in regards to financial performance and cost reductions. Working capital, warehouse occupancy costs, training and development manpower, and also including productivity [inaudible 00:10:08], customer service, obviously, risk management, and visibility are important components.


Futureproofing is a critical component and that is, again, got to do with the company or the organization’s ability to perform the project in time — under or in budget. Based on that, they have the opportunity either for [inaudible 00:10:39] and that can lead to futureproofing and making sure that the future are secure for that specific organization.


As far as competitors in the market, obviously, there is also going to be competitors. And the way that the organization or the industry organizations look at project success is in terms of how successful an organization was delivering that specific project. And that will always form critical [inaudible 00:11:18] regardless of industry, regardless of region, and regardless of culture.


Dustin, thank you very much. I appreciate having the opportunity to discuss some issues. I hope in the future, we can get together again and discuss some other points or things that are critical in regards to projects. And once again, thank you very much for the opportunity.




About Victor Coetzee






Victor Coetzee


Sr. Manager of Global Procurement, Logistics & Supply Chain


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Tim Calie who discussed Leadership for Business Improvements Reduce Costs, Increase Service Levels and Improve Morale  Operations  / Supply Chain.









  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • Analysis of “Suitability” of Associates
  • Restructure & Reorganization of Environment  -  Process Flow
  • Analysis , Implementation & Reformatting of Policies & Procedures
  • Engagement , Motivation & Empowerment of Teams



  • Create a Motivated Culture that Fosters & Promotes Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Improve Communication among Associates and Management




  • The key is taking the time to orchestrate a business environment to perform in a highly efficient manner with motivated associates. This breaks down to (2) two simple entities “people and processes”.




  • Leadership is a critical component of creating a highly efficient, profitable and motivated business environment.
  • Many leaders are highly educated in their industries and have a superior work ethic to possibly produce prolific results.




  • Most businesses the associates know the reason why the issues are occurring & many have the solutions yet need a leader that engages , cares & respects them in general.




  • A consistent engaging verbiage with open-ended inquiries to learn about all associates as well as performing their responsibilities is very important to obtain the full “pulse” of the operation.




  • It is very important these goals and expectations of both overall company and associates have been carefully measured to ensure they are achievable by all associates.




  • A highly prolific leader will first engage all the associates on a consistent basis with a positive, professional and supportive demeanor and most importantly respect and care for all team members.




  • Leaders will then share both the company goals ( open forum) and also individual goals of all associates (individual sessions).



  • The methodology utilized in improving a business also is a combination of analysis of the processes & people as well as the communication to the associates.




  • ENGAGE All Associates

“ Tell Me And I Forget , Teach Me And I may Remember , INVOLVE ME AND I UNDERSTAND”

Benjamin Franklin




  • Associates also greatly respect a leader that is open to admit when he makes a mistake & engages in very collaborative / open ended inquiries such as “makes sense?”.




  • It is important for leaders to engage all of the associate's with inquires that are inquisitive & challenges their thought process for continuous improvements.




  • A prolific leader also coincides properly engaging the associates with sharing company goals & objectives.




  • The key word to maximize communication levels in an operation for optimum business improvement results as well as increased morale & motivation.





  • Summarize
  • Clarify
  • Proper use of open & closed inquiries
  • Avoid prejudice
  • Reflect
  • Probe
  • Avoid interruption & distraction
  • Observe non verbal behavior
  • Encouragement
  • Listen for feelings
  • Show interest




  • It is very important to continuously communicate to all Associates a continuous  “Sense of Urgency” mode in the environment.
  • The “Continuous Improvement” methodology must always be in high gear to maximize any areas of further improvement.




  • Consistent Inquiries As To Why Existing Processes & Procedures

“ Logic Will Get You From A to Z”


Albert Einstein




  • Most businesses in our world, when an issue occurs place an abundance of people and/or processes on the problem creating a “crisis management” scenario.
  • The main goal is an analysis of the “root cause” of the issue. Proper restructuring of the processes/procedures to ensure there is “accountability” to prevent any future issues is required.
  • Analysis / Process Flow
  • Initial inspection & analysis of environment to identify optimum process flow of product throughout the operation
  • Identification and analysis of daily ,weekly & monthly reports to be monitored & assignment to pertinent department leaders




  • A Flow Chart is created to track all the activity of the operation
  • A complete review is then performed on all processes and procedures to ensure that there is firm accountability of all sequential tasks in the business process.
  • Analysis / Product Reports
  • Research of all pertinent reports that show volume / velocity/trends of products ordered. ( ex. similar items ordered by a firm , items combining to form one product  etc.)



  • Very important to structure & organize the environment of the operation further by establishing Productivity Standards/Benchmarks/KPI’s for all departments



  • The consistent communication of these” metrics and measures” of qualitative & quantitative nature will produce a progressive level of improvement in the business.
  • It is important that all positive progress be shared in open forums in weekly or bi-monthly meetings.



  • The information can also be shared by posting bar graphs / documents/Information in a general area (cafeteria/conference room - bulletin board) as well as sharing positive emails with subordinates (green italics and positive words).



  • All deficiencies and issues are to be shared with subordinates in private “coaching” sessions and documented for progressive accountability and corrective action.



  • The constant monitoring of all daily operations activities in a positive & professional manner and documenting all areas of concern as needed.
  • Then following up with all department leaders to coach, train & motivate all areas of concern in a progressive manner.



  • Benchmarks of each department are determined by tracking of all activities in each area & obtaining a average time of process for each department activity.



  • There can also be an Incentive Plan implemented for superior productivity which will also greatly reduce the number of associates required to process all products in the operation.  ( i.e. Cost Reductions)



  • This program should be implemented by analysis of the benchmark set for standard productivity versus the incentive productivity level.



  • The final component is the focus to optimize associate Morale which will further Reduce Costs.
  • This is very important as this will further raise the Service & Productivity Levels & Decrease Turnover.



  • The establishing of aappreciative , communicative & motivating leadership to promote a team environment that empowers its associates to provide their feedback for general improvements.



  • Implementation of an associate of the month award to reward & recognize appreciation for an outstanding monthly associate.



  • The Associate of the Month Award is to be decided by a committee of all department leaders in the initial stages.



  • Once there is a group of people who have been awarded the associate of the month award then those associates will form a committee to elect the future associate of the month to maintain integrity of the reward & recognition program.




Awards for the Associate of the Month can include any/all of the following:

  • Day off from work
  • Cash bonus in check
  • Parking spot designated “Associate of the Month”
  • Their picture / name in a designated area by cafeteria / main hallway marked “Wall of Fame”




  • The main methodology needed is consistency of all the before mentioned areas to be improved on a progressive & continuous improvement level.



  • Consistency breeds a constant awareness & provides a pulse of a progressive improvement of both service, productivity & morale.




About Tim Calie





Tim Calie


Top 1% Supply Chain Exec - 25+ yrs 100%. Ops Reduce Costs/Improve Service Levels 10% - 20% Existing Systems & Salaries


LinkedIn Profile